Today, the Commission and the High Representative adopted the Youth Action Plan in the European Union external action for 2022-2027, the first-ever policy framework for a strategic partnership with young people around the world to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. It will help deliver on international commitments, such as the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, by enhancing meaningful youth participation and empowerment in the EU’s external action policies.

Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen added: “The Youth Action Plan lives up to our commitment to putting youth at the centre of the EU’s external action for sustainable development, equality, and peace and giving them a real voice to shape the solutions for a better future. We have heard young people and will meaningfully engage, empower and connect with them while providing them with opportunities, starting with the Global Gateway Strategy, the EU’s offer to partners for investments that work for people and the planet.”

The Youth Action Plan in EU External Action is guided by three pillars of action that will help shape the EU’s partnership with young people in partner countries:

  • partnership to engage: increasing young people’s voices in policy and decision-making;
  • partnership to empower: fighting inequalities and providing young people with the skills and tools they need to thrive;
  • partnership to connect: fostering opportunities for young people to network and exchange with their peers worldwide.

The Youth Action Plan in EU External Action will reinforce ongoing initiatives and launch new key initiatives targeting young people worldwide including:

  • The Youth and Women in Democracy Initiative worth €40 million will increase the voice and leadership of young people, youth activists and youth-led organisations across the world, by strengthening their rights, empowerment, and participation in public and political affairs. The initiative will support grassroots organizations and young activists in the institutional oversight, anti-corruption, citizen election observation, democratic reform advocacy, civil education, promotion of the right to vote, freedom of association and assembly and human rights.
  • The Youth Empowerment Fund is a new pilot initiative worth €10 million that will provide direct financial support to youth-led initiatives in partner countries focusing on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at local level, in particular on environment and climate change and the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised youth.
  • The Africa-Europe Youth Academy will channel financial support of €50 million to formal and informal learning opportunities and exchanges for young people willing to improve their leadership skills and create networks of change-makers in Africa.

The Youth Action Plan is part of the EU institutions efforts to mark the European Year of Youth 2022 and its international dimension, shining a light on the important role of young people in building a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital.

Source: European Commission


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